Here is a good video out of Australia on the ATX and then I copied and pasted Bilbo's post on using the GPX vs. the ATX on an old patch in Australia. Hopefully he don't mind, if anyone knows him, please let him know I borrowed his info.
Sheesh, you're cynical old buggers aren't ya! I'm home for the summer and I'm not sufficiently gold hungry to be in the bush in Leonora or Meeka when it's baking pies on the car bonnet.
The "80 ounce patch" referred to above is finished, all over, I bulldozed it but it revealed a major hole in the ML GPX series. The Garret ATX seems to fill that hole.
But the story of the patch is a long story and one that I related on another gold forum a few weeks back. However, that story may not be there any longer as I deleted my account last night. (The moderator was a bit to agressively acerbic for my tastes.)
But I shall say now that the patch that we tested on yesterday was not the one that I refer to where the "60 to 80 ounces" was found. Suffice to say that original patch was first found two years ago and is 35 kms north of Leonora. We heard from the original finder that between "60 to 80 ounces" was found by him and his mate. I don't how or what machine he was using to find the first specie, but I do know he specked a couple that were sunbaking,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,but his ML 5000 didn't even give a fairy fart when the wand was waved over 'em!! It was like there was nothing there.
So he tried a Whites GMT and he actually bought a new one to do the job. It took him a couple of seasons to clean it out. At the end he had several jam jars full of very rich species. I had a look at some and the rock matrix seemed to be dirty quartz and silcrete and right on the junction of the two rock types and very worn. Plus - they were all, 100% on the surface!! (With one exception which was strangely down about 150mm and he needed a jackhammer to get it out.) I know this because we pegged an SPL on it and bulldozed the area and got,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,nothing under the immediate surface down to the "false cap" about 450 mm deep. Not a thing!! It was all on top. After he'd finished with the spot he told us he'd had enough and we pegged it as a bulldozing proposition. This whole bit is important to remember before we read the next bit. In summary we have an old patch that yeilded many ounce of fine gold in species of which only about 5% could be heard with a 4500/5000. It took a VLF machine to get the other 95%. I couldn't believe it either and neither could a lot of other people but my own experiences proved it and I have done so to others.
Next episode about the 4500/5000, the Whites GMT and the Garret in a while. Me fingers sore and the lawn needs cutting. (Yes, dearest, I'll be there in moment, my little cuddlekin pie!)
The guy that found this patch had bought a brand new White’s GMT to get most of the species. So first I phoned ML in Adelaide and explained what we’d observed with these species and this guy and told ‘em we reckoned there was a “hole” in the GPX theory. Now cop this,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,They agreed!!! Straight up,,,,,,,,ML said I was spot on with the reasons that I put forward to them over the phone as to why this happens. (more on that little point later).
So we bought a new Whites GMT to get this pushing job done. But in spite of the dozing we got nothing down deep, it was all surface stuff. We gave up pushing and whilst we were waiting for a “float” truck for the dozer ( 5 days!!) we did some normal bipping. Sure enough, he did miss a few and we got just about all that was missed with the Whites - but there’ no guarantee as we all know.
My wife wandered more than me with a 4500 and got nothing. She's a very patient lady and a good operator but she was getting mega-pissed off with these specimens!! I did a fair bit less walking than her using the Whites ‘cos I was servcing the dozer and fixing an oil leak most of the time. But I ended up with about 7 species. They were all on top,,,,,,and this patch has had the living bejeezus chained out of it by many people with ML machines. We saw heaps of these old chain lines but not one scratch or dig mark. Nothing.
We tested both of our 4500s over these species that I'd found with the Whites as well and we also got no signal at all. Now these aren’t little species with specks of gold in ‘em these are palm sized and they’re rotten with fine gold! We never crushed these species and they’re still with me. I’ll try and put some pics up here soon.
Over the days we were waiting for the float truck we had a few mates come by to see how we were doing,,,which wasn’t real well at all! We were getting pasted with bulldozing for zilch gold. But they had their chance to put their machines 4500 and 5000s over the species, They got no signal whatsoever!! The expression on the faces was priceless!
We came home early as a result of that poor patch. We'd pinned a lot on it coming good. But shchit happens eh! So pushing is rarely as great as people say - trust me, I know!!
So, how does the Garret fit in with this? Well, when Matt asked me did I want to test one I thought I’d take these species with me. I arrived at The Prospector’s Patch in Midland on Friday morning, had a chat with Matt who I hadn’t seen for years and we all jumped in car of the Prospectors Patch and off we went into the hills around Perth. Please note, I don't use The Prospectors Patch as my retail outlet. I normally use Reed's Prospecting for reasons that go back many years. So I have no connection with The Prospectors Patch. But things may change if I buy a new Garrett!
We took a ML5000 with us as well. The weather was looking a bit dark but we got to the area before it started raining. However, due to the rain eventually we only had time to set up both machines and test the species I’d brought.
The Garrett was up and running in a flash. It really is much quicker to get bipping than the ML. It had the Double D coil on. The 5000 had the mono on.
Initially we had a problem with ground balancing the Garret and initially I was unimpressed with the “totally unbalanced” noise it was making. I thought, ”If this as good as it gets they can keep it”. But eventually we found the Ops Manual in the bag and that the Ground Balance problem was sorted in seconds.
Without any word of a lie, this thing is QUIET, just a faint murmur or buzz, just audible with no "chattering". We had a quick scan around to clear any junk and by then it was starting to rain lightly. So we decided we’d test the species with the Garret and with the ML 5000 ASAP. Matt had a specie with him but it had several largeish , almost nugget size bits of gold in it. My species had much more gold in'em but it was very fine.
By the time we’d finished this specie testing we were more than a bit damp
The set-up and cosmetic bits of the Garrett are very well explained in this You Tube video so I’m not gonna repeat it here and it copies everything I witnessed:
More in the next bit as these threads get too long and they stuff up when ya post 'em.
By now you all have probably guessed what’s coming! Yep the Garrett gave a good strong signal on every specie, except one. When we put the 5000 across them all it missed all of ‘em – except one. That single one is the only one that all three detectors heard but the gold is rich and clearly visible in it. When we were working on the patch, the Whites heard and got all of ‘em. We couldn’t test my Whites GMT across these as it’s out in the bush with a mate ATM. But both Matt and the owner of the Prospectors Patch, Jamie, were stunned when the 5000 missed 7 out of 8 targets with not even a murmur. I didn’t handle any of the detectors or manipulate them in any way, I just let these two guys get on with it using my species.
We didn’t do any depth testing for a variety of reasons. Firstly, for my money, depth tests are useless unless you have a properly set-up test patch much like Jonathan Porter has. That is a good set up with the plastic pipes in an undisturbed river bank. We didn’t have that and re-burying targets has never provided a qualitative test IMO. We were getting wet by this time and with what I reckon above about depth testing we called it a day. Well “half a day” actually!
I had a yarn with Matt, who I’ve known for 20 years off and on and he told me about him doing the testing with the Garrett guys on “some of the hottest ground in WA”. I know exactly where he took those guys and it is -*- hot ground in both places – the hottest I know of. They’ve been hammered with ML machines since the SD 2000 first arrived. But Matt still found gold in quantity but I must say they were only small pieces. But both areas have been chained, cross chained by every man and his dog since metal detectors came to “Oz”. I won’t even go anywhere near these areas these days they are so well thrashed. But the Garrett found even more.
So it looks like the ML4500/5000 does miss gold and substantial gold at that. This is the type of gold that could lead to another patch or even a mining proposition. But that’s not to decry what is and has been for years the benchmark in metal detectors- Minelab. But I’ve often felt that we have become institutionalised into accepting that “there is no other God before me but Minelab”. Well, I've used nothing but Minelab since way back in 1984 and even though I was the first to knock this new Garrett mainly for the battery pack, I now reckon that Garrett have produced something that probably wouldn'tl knock ML off its perch without more proof but it will make a fair old dent in the metal detector market. I would have loved a situation where both machines went detecting alongside together and then a reasonably fair comparison could be made about the targets as they arrived under the coil but we ran out of time and weather. But I will be asking the Prospectors Patch for another try real soon.
Even more to come,,,,,,,,,,,,with a set of steak knives and a "Twister" excercise machine.!!!
Cosmetics and design – there’s some things that I like and some I don’t. I don’t like the battery aspect. It’s a 12 volt machine that takes 8 by AA cells or it has rechargeables. Having seen the charger I noticed it had only 8 charging slots?? Most rechargeables are only 1.2 volt to 1.4 volts but alkaline cells are 1.5 volts which makes up the 12 volt total. But what’s the total voltage with rechargeables?? Worth asking Garrett the question I reckon. With AA cells the battery life is 12 hours. But for me, who can spend up to 6 months a year out bush, taking that many batteries is a step back in time.
Even rechargeables aren’t without their problems. It seems Garrett have taken for granted that there’s a shop that sells inexpensive AA batteries within 10 kms of anywhere In Western Australia or even Mongolia for that matter. This is unlike the USA!! We know that's different don’t we!! I can see a 12 volt lead acid gel battery pack modification coming here much like the old days of the ML16000 VLF machines. I can’t see me messing around with AA cells for very long!!
The battery carriers are inbuilt and they carried on either side of the handle/control box. So there are no external wires or cables. But this does make the machine heavy and it may even be a bit heavier than the 4500/5000. It seems like it is but I've never weighed either of 'em. That’s not good for me with two (out of four) snapped tendons in my right arm after 30 years detecting!! There is a bungee cord set up but I’m sure I’ll be making my own before long.
The Garrett has an excellent external speaker but I hate the -*- things and the people that use ‘em. -*- noise pollution!!! But if you like the speakers then the Garrett is totally without any external cables or wires!
But what about the coil cables I hear you ask? They are all built in internally within the coil and the shaft right up to the control box!! No coil cables.
So with no batteries to connect up and no coil cables to wrap around the shaft it’s a machine that’s quicker than an ML to set up and be out there bippin’. You’re away in seconds without all the wires, backpacks and headphones to drag outta the car whilst cursing at the missus about “Who left this like this???!!!”.
It’s also waterproof to 3 mtrs which makes it good for me as I live near the ocean and a bit of beach hunting might be nice! And it handles salt without any further salt coils or changing settings. It also folds into a very small space for use in restricted access spots. The swivelling coil will be good for me when doing bulldozer windrows as that murders my shoulder and back when doing it with a 4500.
It looks a rugged machine but all this “mil spec” (military spec) strikes me as bullcshit. That term may appeal to our American cousins who seem to be into anything with camouflage on it but in reality the question is “Define the term mil spec”. It doesn’t mean anything unless you have a full understand of the US Defense Department’s Standards for Military Equipment at your fingertips!
The sliding, folding joints also present an issue. With all the dust and grit in any prospecting environment, how long will they last before they wear out and become loose, sloppy and get the wobbles? Remember, replacement shafts won’t be cheap as each shaft section contains all the coil and power wiring! I can see rolls of gaffa tape being used here@!
But the question is, “Would I buy one?’. Well, I’m in the market to sell one of our 4500s this coming season. I was gonna upgrade to 5000 but now,,,,,,,,,,,,,well firstly, I reckon that the 5000 is identical to 4500 but with a tweaked up sensitivity that get the fine gold. Well, if that is true and it seems to be so, then I’d rather buy the Garrett when it’s practically half the price of the 5000 and comes with three coils – two monos and DD. What else a do I need?? I hear more garbage talked about different coils than just about anything else. They're like fishing lures to fishermen, they catch more people than fish!
So – anyone want my good 4500 and I’ll buy the Garrett as a replacement? I’m serious!!
PS - we also had a quick try with the new Deus detector which I think is a French design. At first glance it has some pretty clever features but I need a bit more time with it first. Jamie!! Jamie!!